No campaign concedes defeat in Irish same-sex marriage referendum

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Anti-same sex marriage campaigners in Ireland have conceded defeat in the referendum.

David Quinn of the anti-same sex marriage Iona Institute tweeted, just an hour after the count began, to congratulate the Yes campaign.

He previously said in March that the Yes campaign was likely to win: “The Yes side has a big lead… a very substantial lead. I don’t know how solid the lead is. They have all the political parties on their side.

“Every second celebrity seems to be on their side. They will spend a lot more money, most of academia is on their side.”

The No campaign has been criticised for misleading campaigns, claiming a Yes vote would infringe upon the rights of children.

The Iona Institute are a conservative Catholic organisation who claim not to be homophobic – they were paid €85,000 (£70,000) in damages by Irish state broadcaster RTE after drag artist Panti Bliss called them homophobic on the Saturday Night Show.

Irish Communications Minister Pat Rabbite warned against using the term “homophobe” to describe opponents of equal marriage.

He said: “It is too loaded a term to be used to categorise those who hold contrary views on what is a matter for legitimate public debate”.